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The relative effectiveness of audio and visual help sequences in a commercial software package

, University of Pittsburgh, United States

Doctor of Education, University of Pittsburgh . Awarded


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the presentation channel of help sequences on software users with varying levels of field dependence. Sixty subjects were gathered from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. The subjects were administered the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) to determine their level of field dependence. Subjects were assigned into three groups, field dependent, field neutral, or field independent, based upon their GEFT scores. Each subject was assigned to a treatment group, either textual help sequences or audio help sequences randomly from each field dependent level. The computerized tasks consisted of opening a graphic file, manipulating the contents, and subsequently creating two new files. Nine different tasks were to be performed. Each subject's performance was measured by the number of these tasks successfully completed. The total time to complete the tasks was the second dependent variable measured.

No differences were found between the audio and textual help groups, but there was a significant main effect for field dependence with the field independent group finishing faster than the other groups and the field dependent group being the least accurate of the three.


Draus, P.J. The relative effectiveness of audio and visual help sequences in a commercial software package. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved March 20, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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